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Salaga Gets Rural Technology Facility

2008-06-10 20:26:55
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A Rural Technology Facility (RTF), under the Rural Enterprise Project (REP), valued over GH¢ 167,000, was on Monday inaugurated at Salaga in the East Gonja District. Mr Kwasi Attah-Antwi, Project Coordinator REP, who disclosed this, said the Government of Ghana (GOG), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and International Bank funded the project.

He said in addition, a double cabin pickup, office equipment and motorcycles had been provided for the Implementing units, in support of its operations.

Mr Attah-Antwi said the main objective of the REP was to alleviate poverty through increased income and productivity, adding that, this could be achieved through business development services, technology promotion and support, apprenticeship training, rural financial services and support to micro-enterprises institutions, including local trade associations.

He said the project was now operational in 66 districts nationwide and actively providing business development services as well as offering skills training to rural clients.

Mr Attah-Antwi said in the Northern Region, the project was being implemented in seven districts, namely West Mamprusi, East Mamprusi, East Gonja, Central Gonja, West Gonja, Zabzugu/Tatale and Bole. He said since the second phase of the REP started in 2003, the project had reached over 112,000 people, including 58,000 women, with various project services.

He said out of the number over 52,500 were trained in various community-based skills trades, small business management, improved production services, basic engineering skills, occupational safety, health and environmental management and banking culture.

Ms Gifty Ohene Konadu, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries and President Special Initiative (PSI), who inaugurated the Facility, said under the REP, 18 RTF were being established country-wide to support the transfer of appropriate technology to farmers, agro-processors, metal based artisans and micro/small entrepreneurs as well as the training of unemployed youth as apprentices. She said four RTF's had already been commissioned at Bekwai in the

Ashanti Region, Navrongo in the Upper East Region, Kete-Krachi in the Volta Region and Nadowli in the Upper West Region. She said the RTF at Donkorkrom was ready and would be commissioned soon, while six others were at advanced stages of completion and would be commissioned this September.

Ms. Ohene Konadu said the primary aim of the facility was to train master craftsmen to improve upon their technical skills so that they would in turn train more apprentices to help reduce the rural urban drift. She said the Ministry was supporting the setting up of relatively large-scale industrial projects in each district which was expected to accelerate industrial growth and employment creation. Mr Amadu Musah Abudu, East Gonja District Chief Executive (DCE), said 1,251 people in the district had been given skills training by the Business Advisory Centre (BAC) in various vocations such as soap making, batik, tie and dye, gari production, dress making and sheabutter production to improve upon the quality of their products. He said the Salaga Rural Technology Centre had over the year's trained 35 graduate apprentices to set up their own workshops and in addition, created 45 full time jobs for the youth in the district. He said a major achievement by the Centre had been the training of the first female apprentice in carpentry in the district.

Mr Abudu said the inauguration of the RTF would in no doubt pave the way for a critical mechanical engineering services through skill training for the unemployed youth and capacity training for the existing micro/small scale enterprises at the district level. He said the facility would give impetus to the development of the area into a light industrial site, the impact of which would go beyond the boundaries of the East Gonja District. He said it was the intention of the District assembly that all artisans in the area would be relocated to the premises of the RTF by the end of the year 2009.


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